Sore On Day Two
I've always noticed how I experience DOMS whenever I start a new workout program. It starts the day after and lasts for a few days. I've also experienced soreness the day after a workout, that disappears on day two. But oddly enough, I've never experienced pain on day two itself - with no pain on day one - until recently. So, what's with these different sore experiences? I decided to do some research to uncover the source behind these variations.
WHAT IS 'DOMS'?
DOMS stands for delayed-onset muscle soreness. The soreness is caused by the inflammation of muscles due to broken tissues. Pain intensifies in the rebuilding stage - the rebuilding results in muscle growth.
WHEN DOES IT KICK IN?
Delayed-onset muscle soreness kicks in 24 hours post-workout. Hence, feeling pain on day two means growth is happening.
WHAT SPURS DOMS?
Eccentric training - eccentric training involves the lengthening of muscles. With extension, your muscles are more prone to tearing. But, what doesn't spur DOMS is concentric training. Concentric training involves the shortening of muscles - contracted muscles aren't subjected to tearing.
Take for example a bicep curl; lifting the dumbbell from bottom up is a concentric move, whereas lowering it in a controlled manner is an eccentric move. Which of the two - logically speaking - stretches and pulls your muscles? The eccentric move.
WHAT DOES DAY AFTER SORENESS MEAN?
Day after pains is prompted by concentric training or routined eccentric training. They usually subside in day two itself.
WHAT SPARKS DAY TWO PAINS?
Day two pains is the result of novel eccentric training. It also kicks in when untrained muscles, or muscles that have gone untrained for an extended period of time, undergo eccentric training. Hence why new workouts leave you limping days after.
(If you experience day after pains that prolong past day two, or worsen on day two, then it falls under this category.)
SO NO PAIN, NO GAIN?
Eccentric training does build muscle, yes. So the statement is somewhat true. However, soreness isn't a gauge of the effectiveness of a workout. Everybody is different. Two people with the same tissue damage can experience different levels of pain or the lack of it. Therefore, one shouldn't equate soreness to muscle growth.
Drawing my own circumstances to my findings, the correlation between my workouts and 'day after versus day two' pains is evident.
Due to a viral fever, I was unable to weight-train for two weeks. When I got back to it, I experienced day two pains. The same weights I carried pre-illness, sparked DOMS post-illness. Obviously, the eccentric training on my untrained muscles was the cause. Comparatively, I've been experiencing day after soreness, that recede in day two, post-leg days. It's safe to say it's the result of a routined eccentric training.
Now, which is better? One can assume there's more growth in day two pains than 'receding' day after pains. But, like I've mentioned above, soreness isn't the best gauge of muscle growth. We can become stronger without experiencing a single ache. As long as we continuously challenge ourselves, we'll progress and grow.
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